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Chris Chase

Kentucky is the new Vegas favorite to win NCAA title

Chris Chase
The Dagger

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It's no surprise Las Vegas oddsmakers have installed Kentucky and Syracuse as the two favorites to win the NCAA tournament. Once Kansas went down to Northern Iowa, the Wildcats and Orange instantly became the teams to beat in both the eyes of analysts and fans alike. (The two were the second and third most popular picks in Yahoo!'s Tourney Pick'Em behind KU.)

What is unexpected though is that a Cinderella team -- Cornell, Northern Iowa or St. Mary's -- doesn't have the longest odds title odds. That distinction belongs to Purdue, which is currently getting 45/1 to cut down the nets in Indianapolis.

That doesn't necessarily mean Vegas thinks Cornell has a better chance to win than Purdue. It's most likely that more money has been wagered on the Cinderellas and the odds have lowered as a result. Cornell at 40-1 is a fun way to lose $20 -- "Hey, let's throw some dough on the Big Red so we can pull for the underdog and root against Calipari and his inevitable vacated title!" -- while Purdue isn't.

Here are the odds to win the national championship for each of the Sweet 16 teams, courtesy Bodog.com:

To win national championship:

Kentucky: 9/4

Syracuse: 4/1

Duke: 9/2

Ohio State: 9/2

West Virginia: 8/1

Kansas State: 10/1

Baylor: 15/1

Michigan State: 22/1

Tennessee: 30/1

Butler: 35/1

Washington: 35/1

Cornell: 40/1

Northern Iowa: 40/1

St. Mary's: 40/1

Xavier: 40/1

Purdue: 45/1

Other interesting (hypothetical) wagers include tournament MVP (John Wall is the favorite at 3/1, Evan Turner is at 6/1 and Omar Samhan is going for 40/1), lowest seed to reach Final Four (No. 3 seed at 6/1 is intriguing) and Kentucky (-9) against Cornell.

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